… an easy-to-use multimedia authoring tool. Designed for people who have little or no multimedia authoring experience, Pachyderm is accessed through a web browser and is as easy to use as filling out a web form. Authors upload their own media (images, audio clips, and short video segments) and place them into pre-designed templates, which include built-in functionality for playing video and audio, linking to other templates, and other features. Descriptive text can be copied and pasted in, or authored directly in Pachyderm. Once screens have been completed and linked together, the presentation is published and can then be downloaded and placed on the author’s website, on a CD, or elsewhere. Authors may also leave their presentations on the Pachyderm server and link directly to them there. The result is an attractive, interactive Flash-based multimedia presentation.
(Copy from the Pachyderm website)
I finally got around to playing with Pachyderm this last week, and I am pretty excited about the possibilities for having professors and students creating flash-based multimedia content quickly and easily (a marriage of Flash with the words quick and easy is no small acheivement!). One thing I found lacking in the Pachyderm flash objects were ways to interact directly with the featured content (i.e., through comments, rss, a wiki, etc). However, after slightly tweaking a couple of content management systems (see an example in Typo3 here and WordPress here -tutorial to follow:)) I found that you can place the flash files within these systems (as a content element or static page, for the respective examples above) and add the necessary functionality like an rss feed, comments, and (in typo3 at least) a wiki on the page for further discusssion, development, collaboration, etc.
Do not let my paltry exampe of Pachyderm in the links above scare you away, for some excellent examples of this application check out Maverick’s: An Incorrigble History of Alberta (my personal favorite), the San Francisco MOMA’s Pachyderms on Parade, and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art’s Faces of Battle: The Japanese Prints from the Permanent Collection.
There are a few issues I need to work out for integrating several different Pachyderm created flash files into a content management system, but I will include these details when I document the process of inserting Pachyderm flash files into both Typo3 and WordPress -(as for Drupal, I am sure it can be done, I just haven’t been tinkering with that system enough to know the plugins, template specific css, etc.).